Flickr album link: Great Hunt Panel
A previous article describes the journey from Myton, Utah to Nine Mile Canyon, which is one of the easier pathways to this native heritage destination. Upon arrival the roadside signage is easy to spot and there are several points of interest to be found. The vast Daddy Canyon Recreation Area requires the most time to explore, so several hours should be set aside for this destination alone. Only a short hike is required to access most of the roadside spots, which include the Fremont Village, Big Buffalo and the Great Hunt Panel. All are worth experiencing and each has a story to tell.
Hours can be spent pondering over the ancient rock art in Nine Mile Canyon and there are countless examples scattered all over the canyon walls. For this reason, it is best to arrive early in the day, so there is ample time for taking it all in. Arriving later in the afternoon is good too, because the shadows in the canyon will reduce the glare. The bright overhead sunlight can be blinding on a clear day in the high desert and it will not be easy to see the oldest inscriptions that have faded over eons of time. Alternately, an overcast day actually is best for viewing petroglyphs, but cloudy conditions are not often present in this arid environment. For those who use a camera to take home the memories, the early morning light and late afternoon light is best for revealing the finer details. Filming in RAW image file mode helps too, because the exposure, contrast and white balance can be easily fine tuned to reproduce the ancient rock art images in full living color.
The Great Hunt Panel certainly is a very impressive sight to see and this is one of the easiest ancient newspaper rocks to interpret in this entire canyon. The rock art describes a bighorn hunting event that took place long ago and it is easy to picture the event taking place nearby when looking at the surroundings. A small stream runs through this canyon and where there is water, there is wildlife. Picturing herd animals grazing on the canyon floor vegetation and a well positioned stealthy hunting party with bows and arrows drawn will fill in the gaps of the story. This is all pictured in the Great Hunt Panel, so be sure to have a good look!
*It is important to note that there are responsibilities to take on when visiting native heritage rock art locations. First of all, the ancient rock art is strictly for the eyes only and it is illegal to touch or deface the inscriptions. Reporting suspicious activity or vandalism to the local or federal authorities is required for all visitors. Many native sacred places are protected with surveillance devices that make it easy to convict offenders, yet socially responsible observers are the best protection of all. It pays to keep an eye on what other visitors are doing and report any strange activity after getting back to civilization. Stealthily taking a few photos can provide necessary evidence. Unfortunately this disclaimer has to be stated, because vandalism by extremists has been on the rise in recent years.
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